Former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe Fired Days Before Scheduled Retirement

President Trump had been attacking McCabe for months for perceived political bias against him.

Jeff Malet/ZUMA

Attorney General Jeff Sessions fired Andrew McCabe, the former deputy director of the FBI, on Friday evening, less than two days before he was scheduled to retire. The extraordinary dismissal, which could potentially deprive McCabe of his pension, follows months of attacks from President Donald Trump, who has repeatedly accused McCabe, in both public and private, of being politically biased against him.

McCabe, an ally of former FBI director James Comey and a 21-year veteran of the bureau, abruptly stepped down from his post in January amid the president’s attacks, though he remained employed by the bureau until Friday. Shortly after Trump fired Comey last year, the president asked McCabe in a meeting how McCabe had voted in the 2016 election, according to the Washington Post. (McCabe reportedly responded that he hadn’t voted.) The president also took issue with McCabe’s wife, whom he reportedly called a “loser,” because she had unsuccessfully run for office in Virginia and had received campaign donations from a political funding committee connected to then-Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D), a Hillary Clinton ally.

“I am being singled out and treated this way because of the role I played, the actions I took, and the events I witnessed in the aftermath of the firing of James Comey,” McCabe said in a statement released minutes after the firing was announced. “This attack on my credibility is one part of a larger effort not just to slander me personally, but to taint the FBI, law enforcement, and intelligence professionals more generally.”

 

In a particularly brazen tweet in December, Trump specifically referred to McCabe’s retirement benefits—a move many perceived as an open threat that he was seeking to harm McCabe financially.

Last summer, Trump publicly berated Sessions for not having removed McCabe, specifically complaining about his wife’s political ties and the FBI’s 2016 decision not to recommend the prosecution of Clinton.

Sessions announced McCabe’s firing in a statement, in which he said the Justice Department and FBI had determined “that Mr. McCabe had made an unauthorized disclosure to the news media and lacked candor—including under oath—on multiple occasions,” according to the Washington Post.

The New York Times reported on Wednesday that the Justice Department’s inspector general had determined that McCabe hadn’t been forthcoming during a review of the DOJ and FBI’s handling of the Clinton investigation. It’s not clear what McCabe may not have been forthcoming about.